Rocky Mountain National Park is a tourist destination, no matter the time of year. If you’ve been during the warmer seasons – imagine the beauty and majesty that awaits during snowfall. See this National Park in a whole different light. With more than 400-square miles to explore, 300 miles of hiking trails, and 72 12000+ feet peaks, there’s an adventure for everyone when visiting.
Enjoy a Brew, Cocktail, or Glass of Wine
Like so many towns dotted across the Colorado landscape, Estes Park is home to an emerging brewery and winery culture. With over a dozen places to find the perfect drink to wet the taste buds, Lumpy Ridge Brewing Co., Estes Park Brewery, Vino Gui, and Snowy Peaks Winery are just a few stops along the way to finding a way to warm up and imbibe.
If you’re into skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing, Rocky Mountain National Park offers some of the best runs and trails to explore. You’ll find lessons and rental shops scattered around the town if you don’t have your own equipment – just book in advance to make sure they have your size. If you venture further into the park, you’ll find less crowded areas to explore and shred. Be careful for snowdrifts and other hazards after a storm. Talk to those who’ve already ventured out for the day to find the best places to explore.
Read More: The Top 10 Colorado Ski Resorts
Since the early 1900s, Downtown Estes Park has been the home to one of the most beautiful walks for visitors to enjoy. With more than 200+ retailers, restaurants, and galleries, you’ll find hidden gems to explore. Constantly renovated, updated, and evolving, downtown Estes Park features treasure troves to explore on a brisk winter day. The art galleries, in particular, can take all day to explore if you’re into that sort of thing.
Driving through Colorado is like no other adventure. Everywhere you turn, especially towards the Rockies, you’ll find wildlife, color, trees, and more. Take a leisurely drive through Rocky Mountain National Park. While Trail Ridge Road is closed during winter, you’ll still be able to venture to lookouts far and wide throughout the park. Make sure to check the road conditions and Rocky Mountain National Park’s website on current closures.
Local Tip: While driving through the Estes Park area during winter is magical, try to visit a little before that in fall. With the colors changing and leaf-peeping opportunities thanks to the Aspens that litter Colorado’s landscape, you’ll find some of the most beautiful colors you’ll ever see on a drive.
Visit Estes Park Mountain Shop Climbing and go rock climbing. With walls for every experience level and trainers to help you along the way, enjoy this 4,500+ square foot terrain. If you love bouldering, you’ll have the opportunity to do that, too, with over 125+ linear feet to explore. There’s individual and family plans available, so book accordingly to make the most of your day.
Hidden Valley, nestled in Rocky Mountain National Park, is an amazing way to spend the day with your family. From tubing and sledding for all skill levels, you’ll have fun while spending the day outdoors. With rentals, you don’t even have to worry about bringing your own tubes or sleds. You’ll be able to take in as many runs as you want as you race to the bottom.
Estes Park is about more than just the nearby wilderness to explore. If you’re looking for a getaway, book a day at the spa and relax. Whether it’s you and your loved one or you drop the kids off for a ski lesson while you get pampered, there’s a handful of spas in the area with treatments ranging from facials to full-body mud immersion. From Estes Park Massage to Affinity Massage & Wellness Center, you’re sure to find something that lets you let go of it all.
From golfing to the aerial tramway and the visitor center, there’s something everyone in your family will enjoy when trekking to Estes Park. Lake Estes is gorgeous during winter, especially when frozen over. The visitor center will help guide your adventure during winter by giving you suggestions on what to do, what to see, and anything special going on during your visit.
Estes Park can’t be done in a day – even in winter.
If you’re planning a trip into town, book well ahead to make sure you have a central location to call basecamp. From there, start planning events with you and your family. Call the visitor center and ask about events going on. Sometimes local events pop up, and if you’re there during one, it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local mountain town culture. There’s something for everyone in Estes Park. It’s just a matter of agreeing on what you want to get out of each trip there.
Keep in mind that weather conditions can get pretty hairy quickly in the Rockies. Snow tires are a must. Sometimes chains are required. Check the weather conditions before, during, and as you make your way your home to stay safe on the road. Make sure you’re prepared to hunker down if needed and enjoy the snow and beauty of Estes Park, Colorado, in winter.
Updated by Melissa Popp.